The Municipality of Amaroussion and the Panhellenic Ceramists & Potters Αssociation organized the 1st European Ceramics Competition at Amaroussion from July 25 to September 30, 2004 during the period of the Olympic Games of 2004. And a great show it was!


I just came back from the Grand Opening last weekend, and I am truely proud to have been part in the organisation.

 

I was honoured to be amongst the five jurors, an honour of course, with mixed feelings.
It is nasty to give a verdict on works by colleagues, to have to make a shifting in good works and better works. Who am I to judge anyway?
A good feeling came when I read the names of the other jurors, 5 in total.

 

I knew about Emidio Galassi from Italy and Jindra Vikova from the Chech Republic. Great artists.  I did not know Maro Kerasioto and Elefteria Drosaki from Greece, but the fact that there were five jurors, gave me a good feeling.

We were flown into Athens for the fist time April 22, when we looked at some 2400 slides (!!!) in 2 days. A hell of a job, even under optimal circumstances. Here, the room was not completely dark, and the screen not really flat… That was nasty. Of course we must have made mistakes, we are human, after all, but I have the feeling the first shifting was done quite well. We chose some 95 works in the catagory "for use" and some 578 works in the catagory "expression". The makers were invited to now send the actual works.

Then we all came together again June 5. Now the majority of the works were on display. Sadly some very good work arrived broken, and some arrived too late.
In a hall, we walked around the works, discussing, argueing and sometimes nearly fighting.
Funny was that the first prize needed no discussion at all. We agreed totally. The work, by the Greek/Swiss couple Panaretos&Brenner was amazing, both in concept as in execution. This was a prize of 30.000 Euro. It indicates how serious the Greeks feel about ceramics. Up to now they always organized a national competition, but this was the first one open to the ceramists of Europe. A truely brave thing to do and I am sure the show and catalogue will enhance the future quality both in Greece and in Erope alike. It is always good to compete with a larger group. Everyone can only win.

The other prizes were not so easy. Indeed we argued a lot. Some works I felt strongly for did not even get a 'mention', some works I disliked, got mentioned.
That is the way it goes with voting. Democratic indeed, but a bit sad for my own feeling.

Last Saturday, at the Grand Opening it all looked stunning. The Greeks showed once again that they can organize a big happening, for a big happening it was. Even though at the time of the opening, the Olympic Games were in full motion, there was a big crowd. The ceremony of handing over the prizes was a festive one with lots of officials from the citycouncil, television and press. They flew in the prizewinners, gave them rooms in a luxury hotel on a beach with all the good food, drove them (and us) into Athens to be part in the celebrations and to view the show.

hereunder some pics...